NASCAR Cup Series competitor Aric Almirola shocked everyone earlier this year when he announced that he no longer be racing full-time after the 2022 season, but it appears that he has suddenly had a change of heart.
The three-time Cup Series winner initially decided that the 2022 season would be his last, stating that he wanted to spend more time with his family.
“I want to win and I want to be a champion, but at the end of the day, I know that those things mean way less than being there for my family,” Almirola previously said. “I made it to the highest level of American motorsports as a professional race car driver. It’s been amazing, with a lot of ups and downs and everything in between. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Almirola has been middle of the pack thus far this season, currently sitting in 18th place in the Cup Series standings with only two more races left in the regular season.
It’s unclear if this is why he has reportedly decided to extend his full-time career at least one more year, but many are excited to hear that he will be back for another year.
— nascarcasm (KIMI WEEK) (@nascarcasm) August 19, 2022
If you’re a SHR fan or a @Aric_Almirola fan, it looks like 1 more year for the driver of the number 10 car.
— Steve Paris (@StevieParis2) August 19, 2022
— pancakes (@_IH0P_) August 19, 2022
— Daniel McFadin (@danielmcfadin) August 19, 2022
Many also wonder how this news may impact Kyle Busch, as he was rumored to potentially be interested in Stewart Haas Racing as a potential new team next season.
I kind of love this because a) I like Almirola and b) It means that if Kyle Busch does go to SHR, Custer gets the boot, which I am fine with.
I personally want to see Busch at Kaulig. I think he could really help that team become a consistent contender and help develop Haley. https://t.co/rOTdT8FcZQ
— Tyson Lautenschlager (@TysonLaut23) August 19, 2022
SHR going to keep him and Custer to run around in 15th and 27th every week instead of getting Kyle Busch my god man https://t.co/h8HNiV4u7g
— Chase (@harvickplswin) August 19, 2022
This news now leaves only one potentially open slot on the Stewart Haas-Racing team for the upcoming season, with Cole Custer in the final year of his contract with the team.
That could potentially be an opening for Busch, but this news regarding Almirola makes it far less likely for Busch to be headed to Stewart-Hass Racing next year.